TWO teenage boys killed when their car hit a tree were travelling at high speed, an inquest heard yesterday.

Police estimated that Kane Banner and Ryan Fairley were travelling between 70 and 100 miles an hour when the Ford Fiesta they were travelling in swerved out of control and smashed into the tree on the outskirts of Durham City.

They had been travelling home from a night out at the Arniston Centre, in Durham, when the crash happened, near the Cock of The North pub, on the A167, last October, at about 10pm.

Richard Kipling, a friend of the boys from Auckland Park, near Bishop Auckland, told how he had been following them in his own car when the accident happened.

He said that he had been travelling at about 80mph and had almost lost sight of the Fiesta.

He said 17-year-old driver Kane, from Auckland Park, had pulled up alongside a blue Astra at traffic lights and both cars had accelerated quickly before Kane pulled in behind as the carriageway narrowed.

Investigating officer PC Mal Thomas said both Ryan, 18, who lived with his grandparents in Middlestone Moor, Spennymoor, and Kane were certified dead at the scene.

He said: "There was massive damage inside the car. In my opinion, the impact would have been between 70 and 100mph.''

Deputy Coroner Brenda Davison, sitting at County Hall, Durham, recorded a verdict of accidental death.

She said: "It is clear from the witnesses that extreme speed was a major contributory factor in this incident.''